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Burn This Poem

by Bill Griffin

Because it’s cold and don’t we all
need some warmth all of us rattling
about in the empty old house of our bodies
wonder who will knock who enter who
hold us enfold us to their breast;

Burn it because it wants to go 
up in smoke altogether disappear
into the air you breathe invisible
lines of ash in your eyes
on your tongue within your heart;

Burn it and may it ignite more burning
hard splinter tinder edges
softening fingers on your cheek
whispers in your ear resist surrender
all of us dry twigs together and 

Burning may it spark from its heft
from its lightness from nothing at all some lucent
window where we in deep in darkness
never see ourselves or each other
until there is burning: burn it

Burn it for the light.


Bill Griffin is a naturalist in rural North Carolina. His poems have appeared in NC Literary Review, Southern Poetry Review, Tar River Poetry and elsewhere; his ecopoetry collection, Snake Den Ridge, a Bestiary, unfolds in the Great Smoky Mountains. He invites you to discover his microessays, photography and a hundred Southern poets at